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Biosphere

Stage 9 TdF: Mon, July 9th:Arc-et-Senans - Besançon 42km

A Clearer Picture

Jean-François Pescheux wrote:
How shall I put it? A crucial stage riddled with heritage sites and tourist landmarks. I mention heritage and tourism because it starts from the Royal Salt Works, which date from the time of Louis XV. The stunning pictures will be broadcast in 190 different countries. And I say it is a crucial stage because, after ten days of racing, the time trial will give us a much clearer picture of the state of affairs. The beautiful course is similar to the stage around the Lac de Vassivière a few years ago. We chucked in a climb which will no doubt sap cyclists' legs. We chose this terrain to make it easier for strong riders to prevail.






http://www.steephill.tv/2012/tour-de-france/previews-results/stage-09/
smarauder68

Hopefully Tony Martin will be feeling better by this day.  Otherwise, it looks like a Wiggo vs Spartacus show with Evans and Menchov not far behind.
kathy

Are we expecting any surprises today?  Or will it be the usual suspects?
MAILLOT JAUNE

smarauder68 wrote:
Hopefully Tony Martin will be feeling better by this day.  Otherwise, it looks like a Wiggo vs Spartacus show with Evans and Menchov not far behind.

Team doctor has advised Martin to quit after the TT to help regain fitness for the Olympics.
Fontfroide

Certainly the odds makers think there will be no surprises.

Wiggo 37/50
Evans 169/100
Nibs  22
Froome  25
Menchov 113

The rest 237or higher.

I would put a bet on Menchov, my kind of odds.  But the experts clearly think the only choice is whether Nibs or Froome are third.

I always look up odds given by Betfair, on Oddschecker, to be consistent.
Severo

Martin first at this point with 53:40. Apparently he had a flat tyre though.

Cancellara now started. Wiggins starts at 16.39 CEST.
Severo

Cancellara fastest at the first check by 38s
kathy

All rather predictable so far.
Severo

Shame that Tony Martin got injured.
Severo

Tejay! 3s fastest at the first check.
smarauder68

Do we all assume that Wiggins beats Evans by 30 to 45 secs today?

How's the weather? Any chance for Wiggins to pull  a Ullrich?
smarauder68

Can TeeJay earn back the White Jersey today? He's about 1:30 down on Taaramae.
HuwB

smarauder68 wrote:
Can TeeJay earn back the White Jersey today? He's about 1:30 down on Taaramae.


Tj usually dies a bit. Has a habit of going off/climb to hard to soon.

3 minutes between riders is making this interminable.
Fontfroide

Tejay at 142 on Betfair.

But one could have bet on him at 500 on at least two systems.
smarauder68

Font, are you talking odds for stage or overall?
HuwB

Levi looking like the last time he rode Le Tour in pale blue...

Tj still up by 2 seconds.
Evans off the ramp.
smarauder68

TeeJay Passes Basso on the road...say it ain't so, says a beleagured Bart!

Looks like Basso's suspension scared him straight.
berck

Great ride by TJ!
HuwB

Froome zoom! 23 seconds up at CP 1.
smarauder68

I'm imagining the Sky leadership pleading with Froome to slow down so their man Wiggins can have his glory.
Fontfroide

smarauder68 wrote:
Font, are you talking odds for stage or overall?


Winner overall  Embarassed

Sorry guys, I am not used to betting.  Sorry again. Sad
berck

Wow, Zroome!
kathy

I thought Sky's aim was to get a British Tour winner.  Why do they seem to have this problem with Froome?
kathy

Evans losing a packet to Wiggins
smarauder68

kathy wrote:
I thought Sky's aim was to get a British Tour winner.  Why do they seem to have this problem with Froome?


I don't know Kathy, but they wouldn't let Froome win the Vuelta either. Wiggo must have discriminating photos of the Sky leadership.
berck

Nibali is out TTing Evans??
HuwB

Evans is doomed. Sastre 2009 all over again.
berck

I wonder what new masking agents that Sky has discovered?
kathy

My Spanish commentators don't understand the Wiggins/Froome situation either!
Severo

Froome started the day 1:22 behind Evans. Could he move into second today? Would be an, erm, unbelievable performance for Sky.
smarauder68

Severo wrote:
Froome started the day 1:22 behind Evans. Could he move into second today? Would be an, erm, unbelievable performance for Sky.


I reckon Evans went out slow and will come home much faster. He's gritty like that.
Fontfroide

Wiggo reminded by his kids' names tatooed on his hands that life is not time trials, in the end.
smarauder68

How much time did Teejay gain on Taaramae???
berck

Just reviewed the stage 10 results from the Vuelta last year. Zroome and Wiggo did about the same as today. Both bested Spartacus and got beat by T Martin.
gerry12ie

Was Lemond/Hinault the last TDF 1-2?
smarauder68

gerry12ie wrote:
Was Lemond/Hinault the last TDF 1-2?


Riis, Ullrich with T-Mobile in 96 or 97?
berck

smarauder68 wrote:
How much time did Teejay gain on Taaramae???


Its 2:23 from what I'm seeing.
Fontfroide

Nibali, pretty damn good for an Italian. Wink
smarauder68

Teejay back into White. He may be the new BMC Team Leader if Evans doesn't finish well.
berck

Evans made up time in the later half.
berck

Wiggins takes it.
smarauder68

Huge comeback by Evans in the last 10km. He was saving his best for the 2nd half half but it didn't work.

Looks like a Sky 1,2 for sure now.

1996 was the last time with Riis**** and Ullrich for Telekom.
berck

Top five overall...

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY

2. CadeL Evans (AUS) BMC at 1'53"

3. Chris Froome (GBR) SKY at 2'07"

4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 2'23"

5. Denis Menchov (RUS) KAT at 3'02"
Boogerd_Fan

that's not all that bad to be honest... totally what we were expecting.. so cannot complain too much. Evans and Nibali now need to work together in the Alps and Pyranees. Froome's "comeback" from illness is the only real surprise, that he can be soooo strong with no racing and limited training in his legs since the start of the year.

Very optimistic of me i know, but i can see them forming an alliance, maybe with JVDB and a few other protagonists to make Sky's life a bit awkward.

The issue with Froome doing well now, is the same as Schleck's last year - do they now get greedy and try to get a double podium finish?? Or do they stick to the original plan?
smarauder68

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
that's not all that bad to be honest... totally what we were expecting.. so cannot complain too much. Evans and Nibali now need to work together in the Alps and Pyranees. Froome's "comeback" from illness is the only real surprise, that he can be soooo strong with no racing and limited training in his legs since the start of the year.

Very optimistic of me i know, but i can see them forming an alliance, maybe with JVDB and a few other protagonists to make Sky's life a bit awkward.

The issue with Froome doing well now, is the same as Schleck's last year - do they now get greedy and try to get a double podium finish?? Or do they stick to the original plan?


I wouldn't be surprised if Froome doesn't sweep the remaining mountain top finishes but only winds up gaining 10 seconds on Wiggo before the final time trial.

Final Results:

1)Wiggo
2)Froome @2:45
3)Evans @5:00
smarauder68

I think the spirit of Evans, Nibali and Menchov is pretty well broken. They all know Wiggins and Froome can mark their attacks with ease.

This will result in some breakaway wins. Tomorrow, I'm looking for another long break. Who wants the KOM Jersey?
gerry12ie

smarauder68 wrote:
I think the spirit of Evans, Nibali and Menchov is pretty well broken. They all know Wiggins and Froome can mark their attacks with ease.

This will result in some breakaway wins. Tomorrow, I'm looking for another long break. Who wants the KOM Jersey?


I think Froome should keep it but be made wear the yellow helmet so that he looks like some kind of demented alien pokemon trifle...
Bartali

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Froome's "comeback" from illness is the only real surprise, that he can be soooo strong with no racing and limited training in his legs since the start of the year.
It's not the racing in his legs its the [insert PED of choice] in his system that is key ....

Sm - Basso passed .... yeah, you are probably right that he's riding clean.  When he was only thinking about doping he was good enough to win the ITT in the 2006 Giro!  

Nibali broken?  Realistically I think he would be happy with his losses to Wiggins and Evans.  Like everyone else he'll be asking questions around Froome's supplier ...... Wink  Perhaps he should just do a Wiggins and regognise that ITT is a weakness and work on it. Rolling Eyes
smarauder68

Bartali wrote:
Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Froome's "comeback" from illness is the only real surprise, that he can be soooo strong with no racing and limited training in his legs since the start of the year.
It's not the racing in his legs its the [insert PED of choice] in his system that is key ....

Sm - Basso passed .... yeah, you are probably right that he's riding clean.  When he was only thinking about doping he was good enough to win the ITT in the 2006 Giro!  

Nibali broken?  Realistically I think he would be happy with his losses to Wiggins and Evans.  Like everyone else he'll be asking questions around Froome's supplier ...... Wink  Perhaps he should just do a Wiggins and regognise that ITT is a weakness and work on it. Rolling Eyes


I think Nabali was effectively broken yesterday, when he realized he couldn't take any time from the SkyBoys on those descents.  I doubt we'll see any real attacks from Nibali, Menchov or Evans.  It'll be like waiting for Ullrich and others to attack in Armstrong in 2002-2005. They know its no use.

Tempo riding from here til Paris with a few breaks staying away. Froome to win the MTF finishes as Wiggins gives him the nod in the final km.
HuwB

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
that's not all that bad to be honest... totally what we were expecting.. so cannot complain too much. Evans and Nibali now need to work together in the Alps and Pyranees. Froome's "comeback" from illness is the only real surprise, that he can be soooo strong with no racing and limited training in his legs since the start of the year.

Very optimistic of me i know, but i can see them forming an alliance, maybe with JVDB and a few other protagonists to make Sky's life a bit awkward.

The issue with Froome doing well now, is the same as Schleck's last year - do they now get greedy and try to get a double podium finish?? Or do they stick to the original plan?


This is what I hope for, at least. They have to try and break Sky's strangle hold; take them out of their comfort zone.
It's good that Evans will have to come out from his "red wrap" and be more like the Mendrisio man.
To that extent, they can now use TJVG in something other than the last water boy standing role. We all know that he will struggle in the high mountains, but that doesn't negate the fact that Sky will have to mark any move.
I can't see Nibali or VDB just sitting their, either.

One bad day is all that it takes......
Fontfroide

smarauder68 wrote:


I think Nabali was effectively broken yesterday, when he realized he couldn't take any time from the SkyBoys on those descents.  I doubt we'll see any real attacks from Nibali, Menchov or Evans.  


I think that descent yesterday was a tiddly one.  It ended in no time at all, and didn't let anyone get away or even get dropped.  There are loads of better descents.  I think you write off the obvious attackers, Evans and Nibali, too early.  Menchov I don't know so well, but I suspect he will try something.  The other side of the coin is that none of the rest have anything to lose.  Surely Evans would rather give it a go and maybe blow it, than just sit around and finish third or fourth.  Same for the rest of the big hitters.  Admittedly guys like Monfort, Zubeldia, Tejay, Roche might try to preserve their place and take no risks.  But why would Rui Costa, Brajkovic, Schleck and Coppel not want to give it a go somewhere.  Plus others who wish to provide us with interest.  Certainly the mountains jersey is still very much up for grabs.

I am probably being optimistic, as usual.  Maybe its all over.  I don't think so.

The Tour is long, many things can happen.
Bartali

I'm pretty sure it is all over - on he road at least.  But Nibali usually attacks until the bitter end so I assume he will continue.  But we've all been here before - journeyman roadies turning into climbing stars at the turn of a switch and if we're really honest with ourselves we all know where it ends.  And if that brings upon me the wrath of Sky then so be it ...
Boogerd_Fan

Bartali wrote:
I'm pretty sure it is all over - on he road at least.  But Nibali usually attacks until the bitter end so I assume he will continue.  But we've all been here before - journeyman roadies turning into climbing stars at the turn of a switch and if we're really honest with ourselves we all know where it ends.  And if that brings upon me the wrath of Sky then so be it ...


again, looking at this optimistically - Nibs can be quite happy with his losses to Evans today, and can attack the Australian over the next week of mountainous days to at least finish 2nd or 3rd (assuming Froomey keeps up). He could always be announced the winner by being best of the rest on the road Wink

I do tend to agree that it will take a LOT now to dislodge Wiggo from the top spot. However - I hope they at least TRY to do something. Not just settle for podium or top 5... and actually go out there and bring the fight to Sky.

Looking at Wednesday, if they can isolate Wiggo before the final climb, the descent could be quite unnerving for him. BUt for that they'lll need to ride hard and attack over the top of the Colombier. Unlike last year when Schleck's attack was nicely negated by a long stretch of false flat between climbs, Wednesdays profile has the luxury of 3 mountains in a row without respite. Just exactly what Wiggo will not enjoy, should the pace be frantic or uncontrolled during the longest climb of the day... What have they got to lose?
Bartali

Lets hope so Boogie ... I'd like to see someone make a race of it.
MAILLOT JAUNE

Was this year's route made for Wiggins to win? Seems that he's slipped into the yellow jersey without much effort and, barring a bad day, looks as if he could keep it till Paris!
Severo

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
The issue with Froome doing well now, is the same as Schleck's last year - do they now get greedy and try to get a double podium finish?? Or do they stick to the original plan?


Stick to the plan. Wiggins in yellow, anything else a bonus, but second not good enough.
Boogerd_Fan

MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Was this year's route made for Wiggins to win? Seems that he's slipped into the yellow jersey without much effort and, barring a bad day, looks as if he could keep it till Paris!


Another conspiracy theory - but a valid one... if they have a doping program and are paying off the UCI to make it go away, its a strong coincidence that we get such a TT friendly route from ASO so soon after Brailsford's statement of 5 years for a British winner.
smarauder68

I'm not convinced that any of the teams ever stopped doping. So, I don't think Sky is getting any unfair advantages. They were very solid last year Froome was just as good during last year's Vuelta. Wiggo is talented and has gradually improved his climbing in much the same way Evans did. The big difference is that Evans was never the time trialer that Wiggo is.
Bartali

smarauder68 wrote:
I'm not convinced that any of the teams ever stopped doping. So, I don't think Sky is getting any unfair advantages. They were very solid last year Froome was just as good during last year's Vuelta. Wiggo is talented and has gradually improved his climbing in much the same way Evans did. The big difference is that Evans was never the time trialer that Wiggo is.


Really?  Wiggins improved his climbing overnight in 2009 by employing the tried and tested lose a few kg and climb like an eagle without losing any ITT speed routine - were it so easy we'd all be doing it.  Froome went from from winning races like the Anatomic Jock race to a Vuelta podium within about 12 months - unbelievable.

I'm not sure I would go with the conspiracy theory, but one might suggest that it's in the UCI's interest for a Sky rider to win ... just like 1999 all over again!

Sorry if I seem a bit negative, but I'm afraid I'm just a bit cynical about our sport these days and I'm not prepared to suspend my disbelief just because its a Brit leading the way ...
KarenP

Fontfroide wrote:


I think that descent yesterday was a tiddly one.  It ended in no time at all, and didn't let anyone get away or even get dropped.  There are loads of better descents.  


Right.  Plus that haven't hit high altitude yet and, IMO, it remains to be seen how well Wiggo/Sky can perform when the air gets very thin.  Still, with that final long ITT, I think he's basically got it wrapped up.
smarauder68

Bartali wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
I'm not convinced that any of the teams ever stopped doping. So, I don't think Sky is getting any unfair advantages. They were very solid last year Froome was just as good during last year's Vuelta. Wiggo is talented and has gradually improved his climbing in much the same way Evans did. The big difference is that Evans was never the time trialer that Wiggo is.


Really?  Wiggins improved his climbing overnight in 2009 by employing the tried and tested lose a few kg and climb like an eagle without losing any ITT speed routine - were it so easy we'd all be doing it.  Froome went from from winning races like the Anatomic Jock race to a Vuelta podium within about 12 months - unbelievable.

I'm not sure I would go with the conspiracy theory, but one might suggest that it's in the UCI's interest for a Sky rider to win ... just like 1999 all over again!

Sorry if I seem a bit negative, but I'm afraid I'm just a bit cynical about our sport these days and I'm not prepared to suspend my disbelief just because its a Brit leading the way ...


Can we agree that they're probably all doping in some ways? Why hold a grudge at the better cheaters?  

Woulda been so much more interesting if Froome hadn't punctured and lost that 1:25 around Stage 3.  Can you imagine Wiggo with a 35 second lead and having a bad day on Stage 11 or 17.  

If Nibali, Evans or Menchov are on a good day and attack, what would Sky do if any of those opened up a gap on Wiggins? Send Froome up to cover and hope Wiggo makes it back or Keep Froome near Wiggo to usher him up, limiting losses? I would argue that Sky should let Froome go, but this scenario is about the only thing that will be interesting the next 11 stages.

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